The CDs that I listen to tend to change a lot. Right now I'm getting ready to record; I'm playing and driving a lot, so that has me focused on lyrical style in its relation to the music it's pushing.
· The CD that I'm listening to the most is Stevie Wonder'sSongs in the Key of Life. The massive imagery that he uses in "Summer Soft" and "Knocks Me Off My Feet" is just nothing shy of genius. I could go on forever about his uncanny use of diminished chords, perfect instrumentation and such, and his vocal style will always be a force to be reckoned with. By far, one of my biggest influences.
· Incubus' Morning View is also a great example. I really enjoy songs that send a message of self-fulfillment and appreciation. In the lyrics of "Aqueous Transmission": "I'm floating down a river, oars free from their holes of long ago." I love that. The beauty in simplicity.
· Another would be Legendby Bob Marley and the Wailers. Everybody's got that CD somewhere. The great groove that Roots Reggae disperses just gets your soul moving, and you can't help but sing along. The sultry feel of "Stir It Up," the familiarity of "One Love" or "Buffalo Soldier," the nostalgia of "No Woman No Cry" ... take your pick.
· Along with the influences that Reggae music has had on my listening, The Police's Every Breath You Take follows. They were an awesome Rock/Reggae band. Plus, their songs are a major workout on a guitar player's fingers. I love the lyrics to "I Can't Stand Losing You," and especially "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." I think they were underrated and covered up by the overt carelessness of cheesy '80s music and Puff Daddy.
· Finally, I'm reverting back to listening to Dave Matthews Band's Listener Supported. I cover a few Dave Matthews Band songs (not as much, now that my music seems to carry weight) and it's a great album. I don't as much care for their studio albums, but their live ones are so busy. Rhythm is a major factor in my music, and Listener Supported is flowing with it.
STEVEN GREGORY performs Thursday at the Holy Grail in Corryville, Friday at Zola in Covington and Saturday at Neon's in Over-the-Rhine.